Add a touch of chocolate to vegan caramel and say hello to your new favorite dip, spread, eat-from-the-jar sweet treat! Combine dates, coconut oil, almond butter, maple syrup, unsweetened cocoa powder, coconut butter, coconut milk, and sea salt for the perfect vegan, gluten-free, naturally sweetened spread. Ready in just 15 minutes!
Such a simple recipe never deserved a spot on the Healthy Little Vittles blog more. Seriously. Not only is this Salted Cacao Caramel easy to make, you can spread it on anything to take whatever you’re eating to the next level. Let me explain, just a few ideas of what to slather this caramel on:
☆ brownies or my Salted Caramel Brownie Cake!
☆ fresh fruit!
My first intention was to call this recipe Salted Chocolate Caramel, but after I tasted it, it has a slight cacao flavor but definitely not as chocolatey as I was initially thinking. Now, don’t misunderstand, it’s still freaking delicious and you can definitely taste the cacao- this just gives me room to make another, more chocolatey version! But for now, I’m swooning over this caramel spread and currently spreading it over everythang. Especially brownies. YUMMMM!
As I was developing this recipe, I thought the first attempt was going to be a fail, but once everything came together and I blended it, it was pure perfection! Phew. I’ve been obsessed with using vegan caramel in my recipes in the past ever since discovering Pinch of Yum’s 5 minute magic vegan caramel sauce, check out my Caramel Apple Chia Pudding or my Pumpkin Caramel Pecan Cookie Dough, but I was wanting to create my own do-it-yourself vegan caramel spread and damn Gina I think I’ve done it!
Now, it’s a bit tricky to get the right caramely consistency. I’ve found that it’s very important to use UNREFINED coconut oil. It’s also important to add the almond butter to the saucepan after the coconut oil and maple syrup have gotten heated enough. Then once you’ve melted those ingredients together, you add in the coconut butter, cacao powder, and sea salt. I like to microwave my dates in water to make sure they blend a bit easier in this Salted Cacao Caramel, and my favorite dates to use are Natural Delights Medjool Dates (not sponsored, just love them!)
Then you’ll want to slowly add the coconut milk while your blending to achieve the perfectly decadent caramel texture. I’m not drooling, you’re drooling! I hope, haha. Anyway, I’d love to see how you’re creatively spreading this Salted Cacao Caramel, so be sure to tag me on Instagram or Facebook! #HealthyLittleVittles
- 5 dates, pitted
- 1/4 cup coconut milk/other plant milk
- 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 2 tablespoons coconut butter
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Place your pitted dates into a glass measuring cup/bowl and cover with water. Microwave for 2 minutes to soften them. Drain and place into a blender
- In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil over high heat. Once melted, whisk in the maple syrup.
- Whisk in the almond butter and continue to whisk until the mixture starts to bubble and thicken.
- Turn the heat down to low and whisk in the coconut butter, cacao powder and sea salt.
- Remove from heat and add the caramel to the blender with the dates and blend on high until smooth.
- Enjoy immediately. Store in an airtight container on your counter for up to 2 days or in the fridge for 2 weeks.
**NOTE: if you store in your fridge, you'll need to sit it out on your counter to become soft or pop in the microwave for a few seconds.
TRY SPREADING ON: